Jon Jones’ return to action won’t soon be forgotten.
At just 23 years old, Jones made UFC history by becoming the youngest champion in promotion history, claiming the light heavyweight title. Dominating his way to a third-round TKO win over the then-champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, “Bones” had only served up a glimpse of what was to come.
All 15 fights since that March 2011 coronation have been for a title and Jones has won them all, excluding the no-contest in his rematch vs. Daniel Cormier. UFC 285 earlier this month saw Jones end a three-year hiatus and finally move up in weight as he said he planned on doing over a decade prior. The win saw him slice through French heavyweight staple Ciryl Gane with a first-round guillotine choke, earning him a second divisional title in his career and shutting down the greatest of all-time conversation for most. Amongst those making that claim is longtime UFC commentator Joe Rogan who has called Jones’ career from the start in August 2008 at UFC 87.
“Jon Jones is the GOAT,” Rogan said on the Joe Rogan Experience. “Now, it’s undeniable. There was all this debate until he submitted Ciryl Gane and became the heavyweight champion. No one can f*** with that.
“The Francis [Ngannou] fight exposed one aspect of his (Gane’s) game that you’re never gonna beat Jon in, and that’s the wrestling. Then everybody said, ‘Well, he didn’t know that Francis was gonna wrestle him.’ Given, Francis is not the caliber of wrestler or even in the realm of Jon Jones. Jon Jones has been wrestling since he was 12 years old. He took down Daniel Cormier who is an Olympic-level wrestler. There is not a guy in the world that can say that you can start wrestling at 29 years old. You’d have to be the freakiest of freak athletes to compete with that guy.”
Going forward, there may not be much left for Jones at this stage as his current focus is booking his first title defense against the former two-time champion and divisional great, Stipe Miocic. Nothing is official yet, but the matchup is hoped to come to fruition for International Fight Week 2023 on July 8 in Las Vegas at UFC 290.
While Jones’ record isn’t a perfectly clean 29-0 as it very well could be, the UFC Hall of Famer has the aforementioned no-contest and a disqualification against Matt Hamill on his resume. These were the results of Jones’ own doing, and for Rogan, shouldn’t put him below others in the conversation with equally solid arguments or perfection, whether in resume or performance.
“You can’t accidentally beat Jon Jones,” Rogan said. “He’s GOAT over everybody now. Khabib [Nurmagomedov] is in the conversation, “Mighty Mouse” [Demetrious Johnson] is in that conversation, too.
“The only problem is — besides [Henry] Cejudo and a couple other guys like [Joseph] Benavidez, he (Johnson) was not dealing with guys that were of the caliber of guys that Jon Jones was facing. He was facing the elite of the elite and he never f****** lost even when he was doing coke and he wasn’t even training. That’s how goddamn good Jon Jones is.”
Time. Conor McGregor reflects on initial doubts after UFC 264 injury, wants two fights in 2023
Preview. Paths to Victory: How Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman can win trilogy at UFC 286
Return. Veronica Hardy understands underdog status after 3-year layoff: ‘Let them think what they want’
$$$. Usman Nurmagomedov, Benson Henderson and Alexandr Shabily lead Bellator 292 salaries
Rivals. Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman argue over head-kick knockout in rematch before trilogy at UFC 286
Confusion. Jon Jones calls out Stipe Miocic for dodging him, casts doubt on UFC 290 fight, Miocic responds
Between the Links.
286 Pre-Fight Presser staredowns.
A Bisping reflection.
Invicta FC 52 Recap.
Anatomy of UFC 286.
Gaethje behind the curtain 2.
Fancy Gaethje vs. Fiziev preview.
An epic octagon debut.
No Bets Barred. MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew and Conner Burks discuss if Kamaru Usman can reclaim the title at UFC 286, plus the man who turned $1 into $400,000.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Marvin vs Roman is flying under the radar that fights gonna be great— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) March 16, 2023
This is gonna be a good one pic.twitter.com/z22BqnA1Yl— Drew Dober (@DrewDober) March 16, 2023
I want @dricusduplessis in #africa lets go!— Brendan Allen (@BrendanAllenMMA) March 16, 2023
Usada is going in the bin.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) March 16, 2023
This is my issue. I’ve not lied once. Nor have I tested positive. Ever. I have over 70 clean tests under this program, yet they are consistently coming out after I speak in a manner that makes it seem I am lying. It’s ridiculous. Fuck used. You are in The Bin. https://t.co/ahzGITOpPw— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) March 16, 2023
Over 70 clean tests. Never violated once. I will not be scapegoated by this garbage organization. You are not the be all end all in this equation usada. pic.twitter.com/umZmIV6TJK— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) March 16, 2023
Jon Anik is such a legend, best in the business by a mile pic.twitter.com/yOfDL0kMP3— (@mmamarcuss) March 16, 2023
I will be fighting in July for a title— Sean O'Malley (@SugaSeanMMA) March 16, 2023
The Wolf of London?
March 17, 2023
Jeremiah Wells (11-2-1) vs. Matthew Semelsberger (11-4); UFC Vegas 71, April 22
Brogan Walker (7-3) vs. Iasmin Lucindo (13-5); UFC Fight Night, April 29
Jillian DeCoursey (6-3) vs. Rayanne dos Santos (13-6); Invicta FC 53, May 3
Jessica Delboni (12-3) vs. Danielle Taylor (11-8); Invicta FC 53, May 3
Monique Adriane (5-2) vs. Nicole Geraldo (5-0); Invicta FC 53, May 3
Drew Dober (26-11) vs. Matt Frevola (10-3-1); UFC 288, May 6
Guram Kutateladze (12-3) vs. John Makdessi (18-8); UFC 289, June 10
Happy Friday, gang. Thanks for reading!
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